Hot flashes, decreased desire, depression, intestinal disorders, sleep disturbances, weight gain: these are the most common signs of the disappearance of the menstrual cycle. The midwife’s advice on how to deal with the symptoms of menopause
How to deal with the symptoms of menopause
The ages of a woman’s life are many and do not stop with the birth of children. Femininity continues and changes over time until it comes to a moment when they appear the first symptoms of menopause. But when can we say we are in menopause? By definition it is said that there must have been no menstruation for at least 12 months. Some time ago the woman who entered menopause was near the end of life, today it can be considered about half or a little more than it, so understanding the symptoms, recognizing them and even treating them increases the quality of life of a woman.
Symptoms of menopause
We can begin to understand that menopause is approaching not only from age but also and above all from the appearance of some characteristic symptoms.
The first of all is menstrual irregularity, which can be understood both in terms of the distance between one cycle and another (sometimes longer, sometimes shorter), and in terms of cycle length as the number of days. These symptoms can appear 4 years before the actual menopause but they are the first bell that tells us that something is changing.
As actual menopause approaches, they can appear hot flashes, changes in mood with increased irritability, sleep disorders (you tend to sleep less and in a more disturbed way) e tendency to gain weight with a feeling of swelling.
Variations in the skin quality that can become drier, palpitations and sensations of shortness of breath, joint pain. These are basically the symptoms that put together can make us say that the time of the cessation of the menstrual cycle is near.
But what are all these symptoms due to? The first and foremost responsible is the reduction of circulating estrogen, very important hormones in the menstrual cycle.
Problems of menopause
Physical symptoms aren’t the only things you need to watch out for during menopause, there are gods physiological changes which can lead to important health problems for women and which must be constantly monitored.
There appearance of vaginal bleeding sudden changes can happen and be caused by sudden hormonal changes or they can be due to fibroids and cervical or endometrial polyps, which is why it is important even in menopause to have an annual gynecological examination with ultrasound, to monitor the situation.
The problem of palpitations it is quite frequent but in women who already have heart problems or a family history of cardiovascular diseases it is not to be underestimated. In fact, for these women, in addition to routine examinations, a cardiological visit and possibly additional examinations are recommended.
- Weight gain and subcutaneous fat storage in the abdomen area is another characteristic symptom of menopause. As in any situation, overweight and obesity are cardiovascular risk factors and can also lead to the onset of diabetes. It is therefore important to avoid unbalanced diets and a sedentary lifestyle, as well as alcohol and smoking. In short, in this case there is nothing different from the general population.
As you age increases the risk of osteoporosis and fractures, especially in women who are familiar with these pathologies. Regularly checking the levels of calcium and vitamin D3 in the blood, performing MOC in the timescales foreseen by the prevention helps to fight the onset of this very dangerous pathology for the health and quality of life of the woman.
Another common problem with menopause is related to problems of the genital area. The reduction in estrogen leads to a increased stiffness of the vaginal walls with possible appearance of dryness and pains during intercourse. As well as the loss of elasticity of tissues it can cause in some women prolapses and the first symptoms of incontinence. In this case, a good evaluation of the pelvic floor can help to understand the situation and possibly intervene with rehabilitation before the problem becomes such as to affect the well-being of the woman.
Menopause, intestinal disorders
Many menopausal women report the sudden onset of intestinal disorders often opposite to each other, that is constipation on the one hand and dysentery on the other. Also in this case the hormones, estrogen, play an important role. The reduction of estrogen causes a reduction in the trophism of the intestinal wall, or a kind of loss of elasticity. In this way it happens that it does not perform well its task of carrying on the waste of digestion (and therefore constipation) or of not adequately reabsorbing the water (and therefore dysentery). In some cases, it can also happen that real intestinal sacs called diverticula are created, in which digested food accumulates causing inflammation and pain.
We can also consider the intestinal disorder sense of abdominal bloating which is often reported by menopausal women. In this case, much of the problem is due to the modification of the intestinal bacterial flora. We have bacteria normally residing in the intestine that take care of the final digestion of food. The variation of the hormonal balance also causes a variation in the functioning of this flora which during the digestion of food creates more gas than usual and here is the sense of bloating. For women who already suffer from these problems it is certainly important take care of the diet and be followed by a good gastroenterologist that can vary it according to the nutritional needs of the woman.
How long do menopausal disorders last
There is no equal time for all women, just as not all symptoms appear in all women. Let’s say that on average, the first symptoms may appear two to eight years before actual menopause and last up to a couple of years after the complete cessation of the menstrual cycle. It’s a very long time frame but again, not all women experience the same symptoms and not all of them are intense. Sometimes some appear first then others, other times they are just light sporadic annoyances. Then…